Youth of Okyeman in the Eastern region have angrily reacted to president John Mahama’s description of the area as the ‘headquarters of galamsey (illegal mining) in the country.
President Mahama, at the commissioning of a United Nation Funded water project in Kyebi as part of a working visit to the region a couple of weeks ago, said that “Akyem Abuakwa has turned into headquarters of galamsey in Ghana”.
But in a release issued Thursday, the leadership of Okyeman Youth Association (OYA) says the comment by the president was “provocative”.
According to the statement signed by OYA General Secretary, Daniel Marfo Ofori-Atta: “The statement by the President was ill motivated. It is an attempt to abdicate genuine responsibility on the issue of illegal mining in the country”.
“We wish to state that the galamsey issue is a national challenge born out of many interrelated factors. Okyeman cannot be an exception. The issue of illegal mining is never an Akyem Abuakwa phenomenon,” it noted.
It called on the president to be guided by his comments and institute practical and deliberate measures that will alleviate the youth from poverty and mass destitution.
“We do not want the people of Ghana to describe the Flagstaff House, the seat of government, as the ‘headquarters of corruption’ in view of the mounting evidence of government officials fattening on the foliage of state life.
“We urge the President to focus his energies on meeting the aspirations of the youth of Ghana and refrain from making slanderous and sectarian comments which (sic) has the potential to undermine national unity and cohesion”.